Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dion/Neville Chamberlain Comparisons: Response to Mushroom's Blog

A (C)conservative majority would be a nightmare for Canada. If these were any other everyday cons, it probably wouldn't be such a big deal, but these are Harper's right wing Alberta Reform idealogues running the show with Eastern conservatives taking a back seat... Moderate MPs like Lee Richardson sit in the back and smile. They're just window dressing.

Let's not hope for a Neville Chamberlain-esque strategy from Dion - no matter how Chamberlain-esque he may seem right now. Appeasement is clearly not the answer. The neoCons are a real threat. A timely clean-up of the OLO may be the start of an answer. Paul Martin realized that leadership teams don't make very good PMO material and often don't know how to handle "power" when they get it. Mr. Dion needs to reach for the best people in this party if he intends to win, or even hold the seats we have.

As Liberals we need to set out a strong "social" liberal policy platform, and celebrate and advertise our past fiscal excellence. Masters of finance Paul Martin and Ralph Goodale created almost a decade and a half of success for our party - almost entirely based on fiscal responsibility and creativity. Jean Cretien was a PM with balls (yes, I did say that). He recognized the importance of answering Canada's fiscal dilemma in 1993 with his best fiscal point-man - and he set Martin to work.

Our party is a party of the center - let's never forget that. Our electoral success comes from seeing eye-to-eye with a majority of Canadians - who are also moderates. Keeping the socialists to our left (and not within our party) is key. Keeping the social conservatives to our right is also key. We are a "big-tent" party, but we want to absorb what makes us liberal democrats - that is, a human-rights based social policy, and a small business, science and research based fiscal policy.

Our key problem right now (and for the past couple of years) has been an inability to get the message out. We need to be aggressive in our messaging and ensure people hear and understand it. That doesn't necessarily mean swinging wildly to the left (or the right). It simply means that this is not time for "peace in our time". Ensuring all parts of the party are involved in a concerted election push is critical. Time is quickly passing. The time to act is NOW Mr. Dion.

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